Sunday, October 30, 2005

I'm still alive!

So since I've been lax in posting, and since some folks (mutti et al :) have been asking what I'm up to, I thought I'd give a brief update! The eighth week of classes begins tomorrow, and I am trying to begin work on a couple of papers that have me interested. Overall my class load has been light, but I've been trying to focus my free time on getting research together and starting these papers. One of them is for a class on 1 & 2 Chronicles, and I'm examining the relationship between the Solomonic temple and the temple of Ezekiel's vision in ch's 40-48. We'll see how that turns out. The other paper is my master's thesis paper, which I am also preparing to begin writing this quarter. The topic I'm loosely working with now is understanding how the Scriptures speak of judgment in relation to Christians--adressing some questions such as "When is judgment forbidden for Christians? What is the realm of human judgment vs. the realm of God's judgment? When are Christians going to or commanded to judge?", etc. Hopefully I'll learn a lot from my research into this issue, and it will also be helpful in understanding how and when Christians are to exercise judgment in the church today.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Objective Justification

Ok! I promised I'd post this week, since I've not been posting since my return to sem...so here is an interesting quote on objective justification that I came across in class. It pertains to both separating faith from its object (Christ) and the fact that justification is externally and objectively true.

"If someone were to say to the fanatics: 'Here is bread, but it has a nourishing power only if it is eaten by him who is hungry,' or: 'this medicine has its healing power only when a sick person takes it'; then they would themselves realize that this is nonsense. But so also the Gospel has its power not only where a penitent hungerer for grace hears it, but also when it is proclaimed to the godless. That of course is true: he who does not eat the bread, him it does not nourish; who does not take the medicine, him it does not heal; and he who does not believe the Gospel, him it does not comfort. But even a fanatic ought to see that the power of the Word does not lie in man, as little as the nourishing power of bread lies in him.

"From the claim that the Gospel and Absolution are not efficacious in the case of the impenitent, the most dreadful consequences follow: Thereby is denied Christ's all-sufficient merit, the redemption and reconciliation of the world, for then faith must always be conceived of as a work which must be added, in order that there might be forgiveness in the Gospel. Then it follows that Christ's merit is not all-sufficient. But if Christ's merit is not all-sufficient, then also Christ is not true God. One could not then with a clear conscience preach the Gospel to anyone or admit him to the Supper, of whom one were not certain that he believes. Now to be sure, as regards the latter, no one is to be admitted to the Sacrament unless he be examined and confess that he believes; but whether he tells the truth or dissimulates I cannot know, for I cannot look into his heart. So I do what God has commanded me, and am certain that I truly absolve all; whether they benefit from it, I do not know. The fact is, however, that a justification is not only made possible, but has been acquired and has occurred."

Quote taken from p. 34, "Justification--Objective and Subjective: A translation of the Doctrinal Essay read at the First Convention of the Synodical Conference in 1872", trans. Kurt Marquart, CTS Press.